BENEFITS OF TAKING CHOCOLATE FOR YOUR BRAIN
There are many foods for brain and health, and chocolate is considered one of them. Karishma Jethmalani, Neuro Psychologist, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Sir H.N. Reliance Hospital, tells Health Shots about the link between chocolate and the brain.
Table of Contents
1. Chocolate activates the brain
When we consume chocolate, several brain areas and chemicals come into play. The initial enjoyment begins with the taste buds on our tongues, detecting the sweet or bitter flavors. The information is then sent to the brain’s primary taste processing areas, which evaluate the taste of chocolate.
2. Chocolate triggers reward centers in brain
Chocolate triggers the brain’s reward centers, such as the ventral striatum, through the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and endorphins. These chemicals create feelings of pleasure, reward, and even euphoria. It’s this activation of the reward pathway that contributes to the addictive potential of chocolate.
3. Seeing or smelling chocolate boosts craving
The prefrontal cortex, located at the front of the brain, plays a crucial role in decision-making and impulse control. When we see or smell chocolate, the prefrontal cortex becomes active, evaluating the desirability and reward value of indulging in it. This evaluation can influence our decision-making and contribute to the anticipation and cravings we experience.
4. Chocolate impacts serotonin levels in brain
Chocolates contains compounds that can affect serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation and feelings of well-being. The consumption of chocolate increases the availability of tryptophan, an amino acid necessary for serotonin production. The release of serotonin contributes to the mood-enhancing and pleasurable effects of eating chocolate.